Faith in HMRC?

The future of tax filing is set to change – as if you didn’t know!

Just to recap, the government is doing away with current filing tools and insisting all corporation tax filings are made using thecompuetrlanguage iXBRL.

Although companies don’t have to submit their taxes in this way until 1 April 2011, the fact that a whole new software development will be made by HMRC is one I was previously a little uncomfortable with.

But then I popped into a Sage conference last week and heard a speech by Julian Hatt, customer and stakeholder engagement, at HMRC.

Much to my surprise he admitted technology can go wrong and there could be “teething” problems with the filing system at the tax office. A great change from the attitude it had prior to the introduction of its gateway for online personal tax filing.

When he said HMRC would not be naïve and were trying to head off problems before they arose, I felt feint.

Hatt added HMRC would take a “sympathetic” approach to filers for the first two years of the switch over- if filers could show they had taken reasonable care of course.

Although I have still have a few doubts about a mandatory switchover for all companies, I am suddenly left feeling as though maybe, just maybe this could actually work without chaos ensuing.

However, Hatt briefly touched on the subject of extra taxonomies or “tags” that were irrelevant to companies. He mentioned that “bad debt provision” which doesn’t usually feature in company accounts should be filled with “nill”.

Is this an innocent mistake or is the accountancy profession suddenly going to be asked to account for this piece of information too?

Related reading

aidan-brennan kpmg
The Practitioner
Life Belt with Computer Folders